“Legitimate” Rape?


You have probably heard Todd Akin’s ‘gaffe’ (not) whereupon he stated that a woman who has been ‘legitimately raped’ will not conceive a child because her body secretes substances that prevent that.  Presumably if a women does perchance conceive she was secretly wanting it to happen, in his worldview.  I have a few things to say about this.

First of all, it is possible to be raped and be so frozen by the incomprehensibility of the thing happening that one cannot fight.  It does not mean consent.  It does not even mean acquiescence.  It merely means the mind is so traumatized the body cannot react.

Second of all, the millions of women all over the world who have had children as a result of rape – ask the losers of any battle about this – might have a thing to say regarding whether or not it’s possible to conceive as the result of sexual violence.

Thirdly, NO man has the right to say what a woman does with her body.  That includes a husband, although a wife and a husband have a duty and responsibility to talk with each other about things that will affect the other, including birth control.  That is what a committed relationship including marriage involves and to pretend otherwise dooms that relationship to failure.  Lies destroy relationships.  Period.

When men begin conceiving and bearing children, and men are the preferred victims of rape, instead of the occasional outlier, they can begin to contribute to the discussion about birth control and rape and whether there is such a thing as ‘legitimate’ rape.  Not before.

A truly courageous man, a truly chivalrous man, protects the honor of the women he is associated with – and I don’t mean the twisted idea of honor that results in honor killings, I mean true honor.  If a woman is raped, she is not responsible even if she was thoughtless or misguided.  Not all situations appear at the outset to contain the danger they in fact do.  And she should not be the one punished.

Women are not chattel, not property, not status symbols.  I don’t care what your religion tells you, the books were written by men and they favor men.  Men do not own women, they OWE women for their very existence.  Does that mean women should take up the position men mostly occupy?  NO, no sex should have dominion over the other.  We need each other.  Remember that.

ETA:  I do practice a religion and I have studied a few religions intensively, and many more in less depth.  My religion places neither sex above the other but holds both equally accountable in all aspects of existence.

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